Boston is a fantastic city. I lived there for two years and love it dearly. Today I want to focus on the stories of heroism and selflessness that are coming out of the horrible attacks at the marathon yesterday. I’ll be updating this post as I find more.
Some of best people I’ve ever known come from Boston. Stories like the following are not surprising at all.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” — Fred Rogers
MIT fraternity opens its doors
“Much of the outpouring [of help] found a home in the crowdsourced Google form…The form, set up by the Boston Globe’s digital team, collected the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of stranded marathoners and Bostonians with guest rooms or couches to spare. More than 80 people offered housing within the first minute, according to the Guardian. By Tuesday morning, several thousand people had opened up their homes.”
Bruce and Bonnie Showstack, Scouting volunteers in the Boston Minuteman Council, were standing two blocks from the finish line, as they’ve done for decades. Their job is to assist runners as they receive their medals and meet loved ones. They took on a new role in 2013:
“Bruce and Bonnie weren’t close enough to provide medical care to the victims, but from talking to them I get the sense that Bruce, an Eagle Scout and 35-year Scouting vet, and Bonnie, a nurse for 37 years, would’ve done whatever was necessary to help in any capacity.
‘If a job needs to be done, we need to do it,’ Bruce said. ‘[To] not let people flood to that area, be there to comfort, and give information as much as we could.’
The Showstacks stayed until around 5 p.m., when police officers asked the couple and other volunteers to head home. When I tried to thank and commend Bruce and Bonnie for their actions, each was quick to deflect the praise.
‘I work in the background, and I just like to help out wherever I can,’ Bruce said. ‘In my Scouting career and everything else. I had a good team with me, and we just did what we had to do. We just stayed until they told us to leave.'”
The owner of El Pelon Taqueria, Jose Torres, said on Twitter that he was only repaying the kindness Boston showed him in 2007 and 2009, when his restaurants burned down twice in electrical fires. He and his staff fed Bostonians for free.
Woman opens her home to man in need
Donors meet Red Cross need for blood
“And so many people helped others, making tourniquets out of yarn, carrying the injured, soothing the shocked, giving away their clothes to keep runners warm. And so many people have hearts of goodness. We can’t forget that. Not ever. Not in Boston. Not ever. Because that is exactly what the Boston Marathon is about: It’s about not giving up, not giving in to pain. It’s about that celebration of surviving and enduring against all odds, against everything. It’s about humanity. No bomber can take that away. Not ever.”
Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon with his charitable foundation He released a statement earlier Monday.
“Marathon Monday should be about uplifting stories, personal challenges and fundraising milestones, but today’s bombings irrevocably changed that,” the statement said. “While I appreciate the interest in hearing our perspective on today’s horrific events, the spotlight should remain firmly on the countless individuals — first responders, medics, EMTs, runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood, and the countless civilians who did whatever they could to save lives. They were the true heroes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.”
“Ali Hatfield, who traveled from Kansas City with two friends to run in the race, said she was touched when a mother brought her daughter out to offer help as the trio and their families wandered the streets of Boston’s Back Bay, unable to return to their hotel. ‘I’m bringing my daughter her out here because I want her to see that there (is) good in people and I don’t want her to be scared,’ she recalled the woman as saying.
Many other runners and family members found themselves in the lurch after the twin bombings, with no obvious place to take shelter when Police Commissioner Edward Davis urged people in the area to gather in large groups and to move inside.
Or so, it seemed. Word quickly spread on social media with the hashtag twitter #Bostonhelp. Some Good Samaritans offered their homes, couches, cots and sleeping bags, while others, such as a local restaurant, offered free food, access to phones and a place to get together with other stunned racegoers.”
The Good Guys
This act of kindness did not originate in Boston, but its message is definitely felt in Beantown.
Have you found another story that I haven’t listed here? Share it in the comments.